Noah's 'playful' jokes don't offend us - Kluk

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A global furore broke out last week over accusations that renowned comedian Trevor Noah (who takes over hosting top-US political satire show “The Daily Show” next month) was anti-Semitic. The Sunday Times interviewed SA Jewish Board of Deputies chair Mary Kluk to hear what SA Jewry felt about Trevor Noah's Jewish jokes and tweets, culminating in their article: “Trevor Noah's 'playful' jokes don't offend us - SA Jews.” Kluk said the body was delighted with Noah's appointment and that he is known for taking on just about everyone - whites, blacks, coloureds, Indians, women and fat people as well as various religious groups. This is a must-read story...
by ANT KATZ | Apr 07, 2015

The above short Youtube video “That's Racist – Tacos” has had 2.3-mil views. Another This hilarious two-minute Youtube video, “Trevor Noah: Crazy Normal - President Jacob Zuma's Speech” can be found in SAJR Online’s VIDEO FILES.

Mary Kluk, chairwoman of the Jewish Board of Deputies, said the body was delighted with Noah's appointment on The Daily Show. "Negative stereotypes of all people are potentially offensive. However, the SAJBD believes that tweets made by Noah do not constitute anti-Jewish prejudice on his part. Trevor Noah's style of humour is playful, and is intended to provoke a response,” said Mary.

Kluk Mary Madiba"The SAJBD wishes him all the success and wisdom that he will require in his new position, and is confident that he will do our country proud," she said.

RIGHT: SAJBD chair Mary Kluk

The award-winning South African comic was announced as the new host of the US late-night news satire TV programme The Daily Show.

Tweets by Noah that offended some people, wrote the Sunday Times, include: "Behind every successful Rap Billionaire is a double as rich Jewish man"

When the furore over some of his jokes emerged this week, Noah's new employers, Comedy Central, came to his defence, saying: "Like many comedians, Trevor Noah pushes boundaries; he is provocative and spares no one, himself included. To judge him or his comedy based on a handful of jokes is unfair. Trevor is a talented comedian with a bright future at Comedy Central."

Local comedians also defended Noah, with Kagiso Lediga saying those who criticised the Johannesburg-born comic were jealous.

Cape Town stand-up comedian Marc Lottering said if there was anyone ready for the Daily Show role, it was Noah. "I'm helluva jealous! It's a big deal. A life-changing moment. This is not only fantastic for Trevor, but also for young Africans who have big dreams," said Lottering.

Riaad Moosa tweeted: "Well done to @Trevornoah - continuing to kick ass."

Related reads on Jewish Report Online

A cursory glance at the two op-eds/blogs on Jewish Report Online – one from Jewish Report chairman and blogger HOWARD FELDMAN titled: DID TREVOR NOAH HAVE A SEXUAL RELATIONSHIP WITH THAT WOMAN – AND OTHER IMPORTANT QUESTIONS; and the other from New Yorker GEOFF MITELMAN’s: MOVING “FROM SHAME TO PRAISE” – TREVOR NOAH, MONICA LEWINSKY AND US give an indication of the emotions that the disclosures evoked last week.

Related reads of interest elsewhere


Blogging on the LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS website, Dr Amy Bree Becker posted: “Political satire makes young people more likely to participate in politics. Trevor Noah’s The Daily Show is likely to continue that trend.” She writes that such programmes can have a real impact on voters’ attitudes and that Noah’s arrival occurs at a time when political comedy is benefiting from a new wave of talent, such as John Oliver... (and) is likely to further increase the influence of the genre. Becker’s own research (she is an Assistant Professor at Loyola University, Maryland­ ) shows that The Daily Show and others like it “increases the likelihood that young people who watch will participate in politics.”


An article posted on New York business website CRAIN’S by Matthew Flamm and Emily Laermer  titled: “No, really, new 'Daily Show' anchor is a stand-up guy”, says that “The uproar surrounding South African comic Trevor Noah's tweets reflects the challenge networks face in finding new franchise personalities.” Jon Stewart's fans, already reeling over news of his departure, flipped at the news that “his replacement trafficked in stereotypes about Jews… (and) likened (it) to John McCain failing to properly vet Sarah Palin.” By the end of last week, however, “the controversy seemed to have burned itself out.”

A TWEET IS A TWEET IS A TWEET – AND LITTLE MORE Arts Editor, Jeff Simon, wrote an article on Sunday titled: “What do Trevor Noah’s ‘tweets’ really mean, anyway?” Simon offers some examples, see below, but concludes that he is, after all, a comedian.

  • “So now that Adele is singing, does that mean it’s over?”
  • “I’m watching Olympic women’s hockey. It’s like lesbian porn. Without the porn.”
  • “Almost bumped a Jewish kid crossing the road. He didn’t look before crossing but I still would have felt so bad in my German car!”
  • “South Africans know how to recycle like Israel knows how to be peaceful.”


  1. 2 Choni 07 Apr
    "Almost bumped a Jewish kid crossing the road. He didn't look before crossing, but I still would have felt so bad in my German car"
    So Ms Kluk, to you this is a "playful' joke and you are not offended? In my opinion you should not hold any office in any Jewish organization, unless of course the Holocaust meant nothing to you.
  2. 1 nat cheiman 08 Apr
    Lets give this guy a break. He won't last in America if he is anti semitic.
    There are people from another religion that riot, kill and burn because someone insults them or their religion. Let us not emulate them. People will always have a stab at Jews just because they can.Let us endure it and not complain.


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